Air Canada "Orders" 30 Electric Aircraft

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tspear

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Not sure United still has it. I once took a wide body Boeing from Philli (PHL) to Baltimore (BWI), and another wide body from BWI to IAD (other side of DC).
Not exactly long flights.... and the planes were full.

Tim
 

Dan Thomas

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Until it is built and flown and the numbers are proven, it's just numbers on paper. And we all know how many proposed electric airliners are in service now, even after ten years of yakking about them. The electric Beaver is still waiting for the batteries that were expected to be available by now. Or by last year, even. This article from three years ago is typical: Harbour Air flies first electric Beaver

An excerpt:

The electric engine manufacturer predicted that the tests would lead to certification in the United States and Canada, and would proceed on two tracks, beginning with approval of the propulsion system, and followed by application for a supplemental type certificate for the converted DHC–2 Beaver.

The goal is to accomplish the regulatory chores by 2021 “so that in 2022 people can buy tickets in an all-electric Beaver,” Ganzarski said.


Another one: Harbour Air makes history with electric-powered Beaver flight - Skies Mag

What certainly hasn’t been done before is to fill a Beaver’s cabin with lithium-ion batteries, taking the plane to its gross weight. As a technology demonstrator, this eBeaver isn’t carrying passengers — there isn’t room — and will only have a 15-minute endurance with a 25-minute reserve.

“These are batteries that NASA is using, but they’re not batteries that we’d use if we were going to try and make it economical to fly today, because they’re very low in watt-hours per kilogram,” explained McDougall.

The energy density — the power to weight ratio — of today’s batteries is a key factor for aircraft electrification, as is the shape and size of each unit. While there may be other battery solutions with higher energy density and a smaller form factor, Harbour Air and MagniX are being cautious.

“They are batteries that have been to space,” said McDougall. “So, if you’re choosing a battery for a prototype, then that’s the one you choose.”
 

cluttonfred

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From their site:


It will probably compete well in the existing huge market for 50 passenger flights of 100 miles.

I have actually been in quite a few places around the world where lack of infrastructure or other reasons mean that quite a short distance can be a chore to travel any other way but air, usually traveling to/from or between islands but also because of rivers without bridges, impassable or dangerous roads, or other reasons. One that I remember off the top of my head is Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, two hours on a clunky old ferry or 20-25 minutes in a Cessna Caravan.*** That's about a 75 km flight so that 200 km range would allow there and back again without recharging. I am sure there are hundreds of such short hop routes around the world that could make use of clean, quiet, electric aircraft.

***PS--The Zanzibar run was done under single-pilot rules so if you asked nicely you could ride in the copilot's seat. I did, and just before turning on the to runway were we told to hold for incoming traffic. A BAE Hawk military trainer touched down right in front us.
 

Vigilant1

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I have actually been in quite a few places around the world where lack of infrastructure or other reasons mean that quite a short distance can be a chore to travel any other way but air, usually traveling to/from or between islands but also because of rivers without bridges, impassable or dangerous roads, or other reasons.
Yes, I have been to some of those places, too. Often amazing people and stories. Some of the world's least reliable electricity in many of those places. The electricity that is available is generally produced using diesel generators. Oh, well...
 

TFF

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Right now Canada has $2billiion in subsidies for aviation up for grabs right now. Airlines are run like Ponzi schemes where you do as much as you can do with the large amount of capital you have available. Flying airplanes is the money base you invest from. They operate negative without the miles and credit card profits. Fold in some money that’s kinda sorta free and life gets easier even if it’s not reasonable. No real penalty for failure. Airbus and France, Embraer and Brazil, Bombardier and PWC and Canada, US funnels from military contacts. You have to get the money into the company hands that is fair play. Advancement, maybe. They don’t want to be left behind, but it’s more about short term employment subsidies.
 

cluttonfred

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Yes, I have been to some of those places, too. Often amazing people and stories. Some of the world's least reliable electricity in many of those places. The electricity that is available is generally produced using diesel generators. Oh, well...

Sorry, but this just comes off as looking for something to complain about. So no one should be trying to build electric vehicles or they should only be restricted to developed countries? For what it's worth, Tanzania gets about half of its electricity from domestically-sourced natural gas and about a third from hydroelectric power.

 

rv6ejguy

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Until it is built and flown and the numbers are proven, it's just numbers on paper. And we all know how many proposed electric airliners are in service now, even after ten years of yakking about them. The electric Beaver is still waiting for the batteries that were expected to be available by now. Or by last year, even. This article from three years ago is
Looks like they are one small step closer:

 

Magisterol

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Air Canada is known for doing bad decisions and stupid things. Well it is not Air Canada. It is the management team…. Robert Milton and Calvin Rovinescu left some big shoes to fill; the others are trying to fill them with their tiny feet….
 

Tiger Tim

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Air Canada is known for doing bad decisions and stupid things.
I don’t think ordering a small number of ES30s was necessarily stupid. The way I see it between some sort of tax relief for investing in new green technologies and the widespread PR this announcement generated, the cost of those deposits ought to break even at worst. Doubly so to show the company is moving forward while their biggest domestic competitor has recently announced a pretty substantial retreat from a lot of markets.

All that being said, I don’t believe these airplanes will ever actually show up to do revenue flights.
 

Mad MAC

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I have actually been in quite a few places around the world where lack of infrastructure or other reasons mean that quite a short distance can be a chore to travel any other way but air, usually traveling to/from or between islands but also because of rivers without bridges, impassable or dangerous roads, or other reasons.
Locally there is a few of these routes, colloquially called shark patrols for which ES-30 might work well (tech and certification issues a side) but there are likely to be issues with the airframe usage rate. The problem is these short routes tend to be thin, and unlikely to have several served by one airport, so what do you do with the airframe in the down time.

Historically in NZ the shark patrol was rolled into the rest of the network served by 19 seaters, which averaged 9 hours a day useage, while for widebodys maybe something like 19 hours a day. What are the finance guys going to say about something that does 4 to 6 hours day?

Even if you can get the usage up to say 8 hours a day, the cycle rate is going to 32 a day, thats a lot of cycles and I am guessing ground handling incidents are a function of the number of landings.

Electricity in New Zealand has been 80% hydro for something like the last 50 years.
 
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SpruceForest

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Well this is likely to get me banned, but someone has to say it...

Virtue-signaling. All virtue-signaling.

Along about 2014, someone convinced central bankers, mid-cap mezzanine 'grab and go' specialists, classic venture capitalists, and the rest of the moneyed world that - because it takes an average of a decade to bring a gas or oil well online (totally ignoring shale oil, where the timeline is more like a 3-6 weeks) - investment in affordable energy independence via gas and oil was just plain silly. What passed for thinking was that - despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary from those that have hands-on in the engineering and materials world - *insert magic here* would become available by tomorrow AM at 0659. This was thought to be the mechanism by which EV tech, mass power generation, and - most importantly - power storage for the four months or so of winter that affect most of the population east I-35 and north of I-10 forward into a glorious, carbon-free future (absent the rest of reality tagging along).

Periodic shows of fealty to this notion are just a requirement for those running large corporations, government agencies, central banks, and the rest of the folks that have to knuckle under and at least provide the appearance of 'doing' something, however ineffective or in fact counterproductive for investors, shareholders, customers, or citizens.

In a world where a roof-top solar array is largely assumed to charge the family EV in a few hours (no, Virginia - it takes about 3 days of average April or Sept array output if disconnected from the natural gas and coal-fired local grid), this is the sort of thing you have to expect. The emerging capital crunch will go a ways toward tempering enthusiasm for some of these poorly conceived investment vehicles, but never underestimate the ability of institutional investors to convince themselves that if the Sun does not continue to rise in the western sky, all is lost, so a double, triple, or quadruple-down is warranted.

I really want to see alternate energy utilization so as to save the planet's petrochemical resources for all the stuff they afford us beyond just power, and applaud those polities that can responsibly manage grid transition earlier rather than later. That said, politically coerced transition to tech which is decades short of reality is both economic and - more importantly - ecological suicide.
 
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SpruceForest

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From their site:


It will probably compete well in the existing huge market for 50 passenger flights of 100 miles.
Going to be interesting to see how this plays out with the current huge pilot shortage. Operators (I'm on the phone with these guys at least a few times a week) are actually looking at longer routes and higher density aircraft to get better crew utilization in an industry which is going to be chronically short cockpit crew for the next 20 years or so (8,000 pilots short in 2022 for US carriers with projections of a total of 30,000 new pilot shortfall by 2032 per Oliver Wyman's latest assessment). Short and skinny is likely the wrong place to go for carriers when the primary constraint on schedule is filling cockpit seats.

Boomer retirements are the source of the issue on crews, although we may see a two year reprieve if the legislation stuck in committee does make it out to a vote, although the airlines have known about and forecast revised shortage numbers re: this issue for the last 20 years, so don't let anyone claim any degree of surprise.
 

Tiger Tim

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Website looks like the 25 pax version (I assume some cargo capacity eaten up by extra batteries) will go 431nm. Assume that‘s absolute so call it 300nm plus IFR reserves which I think is reasonable with the typical airport density in the more populous parts of the continental United States.

A premium service could be set up based in Teterboro with service to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and maybe Pittsburgh. It would probably be more showy than economical but so was the old Disney Land helicopter taxi.
 
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Will they still take my USB battery charger if its over 100 Watt Hours? Seems these tiny lithium battery chargers can burst into flames but totally OK to sit on top of an enormous battery capable of incinerating everyone onboard in seconds... Go figure...
 

addaon

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Will they still take my USB battery charger if its over 100 Watt Hours? Seems these tiny lithium battery chargers can burst into flames but totally OK to sit on top of an enormous battery capable of incinerating everyone onboard in seconds... Go figure...
As discussed in many other threads, the engineering is different between an unisolated, minimally protected pouch cell and a battery pack designed for aviation with huge effort put into cell isolation for avoiding thermal runaway, protection, etc.
 
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